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Japan internet retailing market increased by 10% in 2013
Internet Retailing in Japan - a new market research report on 2014-04-30 03:17:05
Internet retailing increased in current value by 10% during 2013. As Japan´s high internet penetration rate has increased steadily, the channel has experienced continuous double-digit growth over the past 10 years. In 2013, internet retailing saw a dramatic shift away from e-commerce using computers to m-commerce through smartphones. According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications, the penetration rate of smartphones in Japan increased from 29% to almost 50% in 2012, a remarkable increase in the rate of growth over the course of the year. The increasing number of smartphone users in the country has led to the development of strong infrastructure for m-commerce to thrive. The percentage of Japanese consumers who have used the internet through computers at home declined from 62.6% in 2011 to 59.5% in 2012, while the percentage of Japanese people accessing the internet through smartphones increased from 16.2% in 2011 to 31.4% in 2012. This shift in the use of devices to access the internet away from computers towards smartphones can be observed most clearly among younger consumers in their 20s as the percentage of internet use through smartphones reached 71% in Japan in 2012, within touching distance of the 79% of Japanese consumers who access the internet through computers.

Rakuten Inc remained the leading company in internet retailing in Japan in 2013 with a 28% value share. Following the double-digit value growth the company experienced during 2012 and 2013, Rakuten is now particularly focused on expanding its m-commerce sales. The percentage of total value sales generated by Rakuten Ichiba—one of Japan´s leading online variety stores—accounted for by m-commerce climbed to 27% in 2012, often exceeding 50% during periodic discount sales events. Apparel and footwear internet retailing remains the major contributor to Rakuten´s m-commerce sales as 40% of the company´s total apparel sales were derived from smartphones during 2013. The majority of these customers are women who visit Rakuten´s online store through their smartphones and purchase apparel and footwear and personal accessories. Due to high demand, Rakuten increased the maximum number of product pictures which can be uploaded to its smartphone website from three to ten exclusively for its apparel and footwear retailers. While apparel and footwear sales accounted for some 25% of total value sales generated through the Rakuten Ichiba website in 2013, apparel and footwear m-commerce is expected to remain a key factor in the company´s further growth.

Internet retailing in Japan is expected to increase in constant value at a CAGR of 8% over the forecast period, rising to Â¥6.6 trillion in 2018. According to the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, 22% of online shopping in Japan in 2012 was conducted through mobile devices including smartphones, tablets and future phones. With the popularity of smartphones and tablets set to remain very high in Japan during the forecast period, the ratio of online shopping through mobile devices is expected to increase over the course of the forecast period. As the demographic of Japan´s e-commerce users is becoming more diverse due to the increasing number of smartphone users in the country, it is set to become the key to success for both pure internet retailers and so-called ´bricks and clicks´ multi-channel retailers which seek to offer services which meet the diverse needs of new internet users such as young women and the elderly.

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